Saturday, November 29, 2008

1 E+12 m²

I've always had a thing for maps and charts full of statistics and almanacs and rankings. Realized one day that I was embarrassingly ignorant of Africa. Started out by just drawing the continent with borders for all the countries. I challenge any of you to take a blank piece of paper and draw Africa. Your map will be awful. Maybe you'll be able to roughly place Egypt and South Africa and maybe a few others, but no way you'll even get more that a dozen of the 53 with any accuracy. After a few times you can get pretty good though. Once I could draw a nasty map of Africa I started learning and comparing the land areas and populations of the countries. That was almost 4 years ago though, and I haven't played with any of the flashcards since I moved out of that apartment

A few weeks ago I found some underperfected wikipedianess that is right up that alley though. It is a list ranking of all sorts of stuff based on size. Countries and states and provinces too. I had made some charts versing the big Brazilian and Australian ones with Canadia's best of and Alaska, but without the Russian and Chinese ones it was a pretty dumb game. I had almanacs in 3 languages, but none had stats for all the contestants. Fast forward a few years and now everything is but a hyperlink or two away. They got planets and moons and oceans and deserts and all sorts of stuff these wikipedia charts. Still missing a lot though, which is where I can be of assistance

I added Chad, Mali, and Mauritania on the E + 12m² page. Apparently folks had been neglecting the African countries on my flashcards. I also added Krasnoyarsk Krai (Russia), Tyumen Oblast (Russia), and South Australia. Corrected the numbers for Canada, Western Australia, Greenland, Queensland, Xinjiang, and Northern Territory too

Then I created links to the E + 12m² page on for Greenland, Alaska, and Bolivia, and corrected the ones for Indonesia and the Brazilian states of Amazonas and ParĂ¡. Coupla them are featured articles too. Hadn't really used the English account since Dec 2007 and first day back I'm editing featured articles. Tried to add the E + 12m² link on other articles that didn't have it, but there is template drama. Everything has it's own special template with all sorts of things that get confused. I can do countries and Brazilian states, but couldn't get Chinese, Russian, Canadian, or Australian ones. Not trying to edit their Infobox templates, so their km² isn't hyperlinked like everyone else's

Still though, it was a pretty decent return from hiatus. The E + 11m² article has a lot more missing information/mistakes as there are a lot more things of that size than there are one order of magnitude larger. It shouldn't be that hard though, I'll prolly get in a few here and there over the next few weeks

I also unified all my accounts. All the various wikipedias are independent, which meant that prior to May 2008 you had to have separate accounts for everything. If I wanted to upload a picture for an article I wrote in Spanish, I had to create a separate account to upload the picture to the Commons. Then if I wanted to put that picture on the English wikipedia I needed to create another account to do that. So stupid. You always had the option of logging in anonymously and editing things as your IP address, but then you don't get the glory of contributing. I don't even have a profile page for most of my wiki accounts, but still. Not even sure what all a unified account entails. It feels like a big step up in legitimacy though, which is for what everything wikipedia-related should be striving

Monday, November 3, 2008

tryin' to bring sexyback

last week I was staying in Brooklyn and a friend recommended walking 'cross the bridge into Manhattan. So many people died and got "the bends" during its construction, gotta love feats of engineering with high body counts. Anywhoo . . . one of the signs from its centennial celebration in 1983 pointed out the various skyscrapers of the skyline. Recognized the name of one of 'em and proclaimed "hey, I know that building! I wrote the wikipedia entry for that building." Chuckled a bit and walked over the river. Downtown has lots more old and interesting things than does midtown, midtown architecture tends to be more of the giant rectangular style than the stone and gargoyle stuff in older areas. Was quite impressed with the carvings and metal stuff on this one building and then saw the name. "Hey, I wrote the wikipedia entry for that building too!" There weren't any pictures of all these cool details on the wikipedia though, just a crappy generic picture. Now here I was standing before the building that doesn't have any good pictures on the wikipedia. No excuses, I gotta start wikipediaing again. Had a buddy in Dubai who I tried to recruit into taking pictures of some of the Dubai skyscrapers that don't have good wikipedia pictures, but he declined. Now here I was in New York not taking pictures for the wikipedia either. And I had been in Chicago and not taken any pictures there either

haven't worked out since Puerto Rico either, but I'ma start overachieving again on at least one front ere I head back down to the Caribbean